Sunday, May 26, 2013

SSG James Kelley, USA, Ret.

James Kelley was born July 8, 1933 in Hyannis, MA.  He passed away at a San Antonio, Texas hospital on
May 15, 2013.  Age, 80.

James proudly served his country in the United States Army, joining in 1966.  He served for twenty years, including service in Vietnam.  He was awarded many decorations during his career and retired in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas.  He was then employed by Centex Ready Mix, retiring, again, in 2006.

James married Geraldine Kusser on May 26, 1968 in Weymouth, MA.

Funeral services were held for James on May 20 at the Harper-Talasek Funeral Home in Killeen, Texas.   In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of American flags along the front of the funeral home.

After the service, the Riders escorted the family to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen.  There the family was welcomed by fifty American flags lining the roadway.

After the flag draped coffin was moved from the hearse to the committal shelter, the Riders formed a line of flags along the front of the shelter.

A United States Army Catholic Chaplain performed the Rite of Committal, including the sprinkling of holy water on the coffin.  He also presented a crucifix to James' wife.

The United States Army rifle detail fired three volleys of fire, representing Duty, Honor and Country, followed by the playing of taps.

The flag that draped the coffin was folded into a tight triangle and three expended cartridges were tucked into its fold. 

The flag was passed to a Non-Commissioned Officer, who presented it to James' dear wife of 45 years, on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army, as a token of appreciation for his honorable and faithful service.

SSG James Kelley, another fallen Vietnam Veteran, was laid to rest on the grassy plain of the cemetery, as the American flag flew at half-staff in his honor at the top of the hill.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, two daughters, a granddaughter and numerous other dear family and friends.

With thanks to Harper-Talasek Funeral Home for biographical information and photograph, and to Ceej Foy for additional photographs.

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